emerged from a long psychedelic incarceration, largely intact, some 12 yrs ago. herb is always concerned that he may fall back into it at any time, on the other hand, he's rather looking forward to it. the main remaining legacy of this confusing period in his life is his chronic inability to remember his own (or anybody else's) lyrics. he loves glamour,alcohol & pataphysics. herb has released one cd ,"may i light your cigarette?" , on the abduction label. review of "a spoonful of yeast", new cd on no-fi records…by john kealy, brainwashed..now, read on…." this 3rd album from herb diamante is a collection of collaborations with a number of great & varied artists. from sun city girls to at jennie richie, diamante & his pals cover a wide array of styles & moods. sad, funny & deeply weird, this album is as odd as can be without being strange for the sake of strangeness. there is a real human tenderness under all the schlock & horror which makes " a spoonful of yeast" one of those brilliant unhinged pop albums which never get made any more. despite my initial misgivings about "mr lonely", diamante's take on the song has grown on me greatly. i previously felt that diamante's vocals detracted from the sun city girls beautiful arrangement, but i have since come to my senses & realized that diamante has made the song his own. his hammer horror meets scott walker voice is ridiculous but it is also full of pathos. this mixture of humour & emotional force is replicated throughout " a spoonful of yeast" , where songs about custard rub shoulders with phantsmagorical descriptions of unknown horrors. a camp halloween vibe runs through many of the songs: it is easy to imagine diamante bathed in green light surrounded by dry ice as he sings his lines. on "riga" he sets up the scene of an evil creature stalking the night before breaking into a hilarious refrain of "this toilet reminds me of riga!" all through this, sunburned hand of the man provide a shimmering, pastoral psychedelic backing. as each song features one constant (that being diamante's voice), it would be easy for " a spoonful of yeast" to sound like a bitty compilation. however, as each of the different groups play to diamante's tune it means that the album sounds incredibly whole. vibracathedral orchestra's droning seductive music for "yellow vanilla haze" works as well with diamante's voice as diatric puds fuzzy 50's r&r vibes. equally, diamante alters his delivery to suit those of his collaborators, which prevents "a spoonful of yeast" from going sour." volume2 of diamante's "collaborations series" , "my crawling eye sees all!" will shortly be released as a vinyl lp on manhand records. where, amongst other things, madame p meets kinski!!
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